When we moved into the house, a lot of hand me down furniture came with us. In fact, 85% of the our furniture consists of hand me downs.
A friend of my Moms was replacing her dining room table. It was old and needed some TLC but she asked us if we wanted it anyways. While the table was not something I would have gone out and purchased myself, a free table is a free table and I was very thankfully we were recipients of such generosity.
The table was pretty banged up and while the original colour was nice, it really didn’t go with anything in our house, so we knew a refinishing project was at hand.
I decided to take some days off around my birthday to dedicate to the refinishing of this table. I have been a part of / witness to quite a few wood refinishing projects so I was quite confident in this task. Plus, we were going for a rustic look, so anything that wasn’t “perfect” would probably look pretty cool.
We started off stripping the original stain and sealer from the wood. I picked up an inexpensive brand that was recommended to me by one of the staff at Home Depot. It worked a lot quicker then indicated on the tin and came off pretty easy.
The sides and legs of the table had some small detail which made the stripping a little more difficult. Thankfully I had some wire brushes left over from when we did the cabinet doors in the apartment (yes, 6 years ago) that worked. Stripping detailed surfaces is a lot more work then smooth surfaces.
Gloves are essential. Stripper HURTS when it comes in contact with your skin. Even a teeny tiny drop.
The difference between the unstripped side and the stripped side.
After we finished stripping Chad sanded everything down.
It looked quite nice all naked like.
We wanted to go with a stain that was darker then our hardwood floors. Our floors are coffee / espresso so the only thing darker was ebony. We were hoping for it to actually look black, but the colour of the natural wood had a different finish in mind.
Ebony & Ivory
After two coats, this is what it looked like. Dark, but not black. Lighting makes a big difference and in some lights it looks darker than this and in some it looks redder than this.
Different areas of the table also absorbed the stain differently. There was one leg that barely absorbed anything and other parts that were full on black. You can kind of get a sense of that here. Chad thinks it may have to do with the way he sanded. This is an example of it not being “perfect”. Luckily, we think the effect is kind of cool.
The finished product!
We sealed it 4 times with a diamond finish water based sealer (no high gloss in this household) sanding in between coats.
You can see the bizarre colour absorption in the legs.
Table top vs. the floor
Despite our best sanding efforts, there were still scratches, marks and weird notches that became very visible once we stained the table. Again, given the fact that we were going for a rustic look, all these marks added to the character of the table.
We are very happy with the way it turned out. Now it is actually a beautiful center piece to the room instead of something I felt I had to hide with a table cloth.
I’m not 100% sure what to do with the chair situation. I was thinking of recovering the ones that came with the table, but Chad is not a huge fan of them. Currently we have been using the black leather ones from the apartment, which are comfortable and look good. I think in the mean time we will buy two more so we have a set of 6. Eventually I would love to get some old wooden ones and refinish them to match.
Modern Farmhouse, baby!